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Bomber killed near Afghan capital's diplomatic zone - police

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Sun, Feb 24, 2013 07:20 hrs

KABUL Feb 24 (Reuters) - Afghan security forces shot dead at least one would-be suicide bomber on Sunday in a high-security area of Kabul, home to government departments and diplomatic missions, police said.

Violence across the country has increased over the last 12 months, sparking concern about how the 350,000-strong Afghan security forces will manage once most foreign troops withdraw by the end of 2014.

The shooting happened near a construction site that was stormed by Taliban gunmen in April last year. They began a nine-hour attack, firing rockets at western embassies and nearby hotels frequented by foreigners.

The man shot dead on Sunday was parked in a four-wheel-drive in the suburb of Sherpur, when officers from the National Directorate of Security (NDS) fired at his car, killing him.

There were unconfirmed reports that another attacker had escaped.

The would-be bomber was armed and wearing an explosive-laden vest when he was shot dead, Kabul police chief General Ayoub Salangi told Reuters.

The car was also packed with explosives and security forces were attempting to defuse it an hour later.

The attack came on the same morning as bombings in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Logar, which killed one police officer and two NDS agents.

No one has claimed responsibility for the Kabul incident but the Taliban took credit for both eastern attacks via text message.

In January six suicide bombers attacked an NDS compound in downtown Kabul, killing two guards.

Less than a week later, attackers stormed the headquarters of Kabul's traffic police and engaged in an eight-hour gun battle with security forces before being killed.

(Reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Writing by Dylan Welch; Editing by Nick Macfie)



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